August Favourites 2014

Friday, 12 September 2014

I can’t believe that it’s September already. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was sweltering in the London July heat; August sort of washed away, and now the last weeks of summer in September are announcing the arrival of autumn and then: winter is coming. Time really does fly. However, despite feeling that August didn't really stick around, I did manage to amass a few favourites that I'd like to share with you. 

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara

Whilst I was in London over the summer, I picked this mascara up at TK Maxx in a kit that also contained a sample size of the Elizabeth Arden Lift and Firm Eye Cream with SPF15 and the All Gone Eye and Lip Make Up Remover. While I have yet to use the eye and lip make up remover, and I'm still undecided as to how I feel about the eye cream, I have come to absolutely love the mascara gor one reason, and one reason only: it works! I know I’m not the only one who’s ever brought a mascara which promises to do all sorts of things to your lashes only to be a little let down by either the lack of volume, the lack of length – the lack of whatever it promises. Not with this mascara. It applies well, doesn’t clump and gives you long lashes that frame your eyes quite naturally. You can either double up for a slightly more dramatic look, or I like to use a volumising mascara on top of this to get really full lashes. Honestly, when I’m just nipping out to do some grocery shopping and I want a quick no-make up look, I just dab this on, tidy up my eyebrows, powder my face and off I go!

Another reason I’m particularly keen on using this regularly is that the treatment side works. Since I begun using this daily, I have noticed a significant difference in the length of my lashes – without the mascara. The mascara contains Ceramide, vitamins A, C and E, as well as Keravis, which is said to help strengthen and fortify lashes, and after years of abuse (sleeping in eye make up – guilty as charged!) my lashes probably rejoiced at being taken care of. I think it is worth noting that, whilst it doesn’t clump or smudge, if you’re a fellow oily-lidded gal or your make up just has a tendency to travel southward, this stuff stings. And not just an annoying tickle but a full-on “I will rub my eyes right here on this bus and have panda eyes if I need to because dammit it hurts” kinda sting. This can also happen when removing it given that it has the stubbornness of a waterproof mascara, but that might be a sign I need a better eye make up remover or use the one that it came with. 

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Ultra Volume Mascara

This is the mascara I’ve been pairing with my Elizabeth Arden one for beautiful full lashes. Again, it’s another one that keeps its promise. I first got this mascara three years ago as a sample and absolutely loved it, so when I had money off (Yves Rocher will suck you in with their brilliant deals, there is no use resisting), I knew I had to get this. It’s not quite a false lash effect, but your lashes will definitely not go unnoticed with this baby. I particularly like the brush of this. Some mascara’s have some scary brushes or ones that end up hurting my eyes, but not this one. I would highly recommend and will definitely repurchase.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 30

Until I bought this, I’d never used a concealer before. I spent most of my teenage years in a confused haze where it came to make up, and not only was I not entirely sure what concealer was for, there was also the difficulty of finding a drugstore brand that has a decent colour range of concealers. I didn’t want to splurge the first time I used a beauty product I wasn’t even sure how to use. However, after watching many a Youtuber and reading an abundance of beauty blogs, I finally understood what a concealer was for, and jumped at the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer when I saw it. Now I can’t go without. It covers signs of late night studies and acne scars without going cakey. It’s light-weight, and natural and it lasted me a good three months – I recently repurchased it. I just really enjoy the consistency of this when I'm applying it, and if this is what I can get at drugstore prices, I'm looking forward to trying higher end brands.

What I will say about this is that, at least for me, blending with fingers isn’t enough. I not only have oily skin, but I’m a glasses wearer, so even with a primer this had a tendency to slide or settle in odd places on my face. Luckily I discovered that I could less this problem significantly by blending the concealer in with a brush before setting it with a powder.

Barry M Brow Pen Liquid Eyebrow Marker in Dark Brown

When I first picked this up in Superdrug over the summer I second-guessed my purchase – I even tried to return it to no avail. However, after a few uses I decided that it was fate that Superdrug excludes make-up from its return policy. I’m still perfecting my brow technique, and this definitely made the job a lot easier than pencil or powder. The shade is just the right colour, and the thin nib allows you to lightly fill in and outline your brows. I feel like you have to be really heavy handed with this in order to get the thick Sharpie look. On a night out I liked to pair this with a powder to give me really defined brows that stayed in place the entire night. There’s no Barry M in Belgium, but I just discovered the Barry M site delivers to Belgium which makes me so happy as this isn’t the only Barry M product I’ve been loving.

Nail Paint by Barry M 308 Berry Ice Cream

This was my perfect summer shade. Pretty, pastel and purple! I didn’t always want to go for brights, especially with August a lot rainier weather wise, and this colour just fit the bill. Since Barry M is so affordable, I was surprised that the staying power rivalled my Nails Inc and Essie shades, though you do have to apply two coats to get a nice opaque colour (I feel three shades starts to look a little like Tippex or actual paint). It also had a glossy finish that I liked, and I’ll definitely be looking for some darker shades in this range as we move into autumn.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Floral and Fruity Blush (50ml)

I picked this up on a whim when I was getting some other travel-sized beauty products mainly because I wanted to sate my curiosity as to whether this would work on my hair type. I have chemically-straightened black hair, but in between treatments the roots acquire their natural, coarse frizzy texture. I’d also heard complaints that it either didn’t work or that it left behind white residue that is hard to brush. I was pleasantly surprised. A good shake of the can, a couple of sprays and a good brush through and voila! I have glossy, revitalised hair. It’s great for when washing your hair isn’t a possibility (or just feels like effort that day). I personally wouldn’t Batiste more than two days in a row. Though it does freshen up, it is another hair product, and in the end will contribute to the grease build up.

Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Lotion SPF 15

Though I think my skin is beginning to show signs of a need to switch up my routine and find a more suitable face cream, this got me through the summer months. I first got this in June when my face was dry and irritable from drying skin products that had left my skin begging for moisture. This was lightweight (great for those hot summer days!) and left my skin sufficiently moisturised without leaving greasy. I used it throughout July even if a higher SPF might have been called for, but it was perfect for cloudy and rainy August. I liked that I knew that my skin was moisturised and protected without needing two separate products. 

What about you? What did you love over August?  Have you used any of my favourites? What did you think of them?

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